• Save Rimrose Valley

PRESS RELEASE: Public Information Events raise more questions than answers

Campaigners are claiming that events designed to inform the public about plans for a dual carriageway through Rimrose Valley Country Park [1] have caused even greater confusion and uncertainty in the surrounding communities.



Highways England staff were joined at two events in south Sefton [2] by representatives from sub-contractors Kier and RPS, the latter being the latest engineering company drafted in to revisit the design of the route, following the abandonment of the first design by previous company, Atkins.


Members of the Save Rimrose Valley campaign team attended the sessions and were joined by supporters; protesting outside and handing out information leaflets to members of the public, which called for better, non-road options to be explored.


Commenting on the events, Stuart Bennett of the Save Rimrose Valley campaign said:


“Given that it has been almost 3 years since Highways England’s last public engagement events, the lack of any real progress was startling. We learned that its first design for the route has been scrapped and that a new company has been given the job. This is yet another indication of how crazy this whole idea is. People are beginning to realise what we already knew; you simply cannot fit a 4-lane carriageway in the lower section of Rimrose Valley, then on through Seaforth to the Port without a huge impact on people’s homes and lives.


The lack of any local knowledge is a huge concern. We heard worried residents naming their streets and referencing the wider congestion issues being experienced on roads across the area. There were simply no answers. They don’t know the route; they can’t say who will be most impacted; they are no further on. Others expressed surprise at the timing and frequency of the wildlife studies taking place on Rimrose itself; summer-visiting bird species having left and just 2 days a month having been allocated for this work. How can that be a comprehensive study?


“We were told that these events were purely to raise awareness of the various studies that need to happen, but surely they must have expected wider questions from the public? We received different answers from different people and were left wondering if there is a clear vision for this project. They could not have left these sessions in any doubt about the strength of feeling against this road.


“We are urging everyone to take part in Highways England’s online ‘Commonplace’ survey [3] to show how much Rimrose Valley is used. We have added guidance to our website on how to do this – go to https://www.saverimrosevalley.org/post/how-to-take-part-in-highways-england-s-commonplace-survey-on-rimrose-valley


Notes


[1] The proposed road through Rimrose Valley Country Park is a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project and a replacement for the current A5036 Liverpool Port Access Road.

The DfT instructed Highways England to design a road to service the newly-expanded Port of Liverpool; facilitating more HGV movements.

In its public consultation Highways England offered only two options; both of which were unpalatable to the local community and in fact weren’t any choice at all. Option B (Rimrose Valley) was the least favoured. Summary of results here:

https://highwaysengland.citizenspace.com/he/a5036-port-of-liverpool-access-scheme/results/n170135---a5036-port-of-liverpool-access----summary-pcr---web.pdf


[2] Link to H.E. project information page which includes dates for the sessions:

https://highwaysengland.co.uk/projects/a5036-port-of-liverpool-access/


[3] Link to H.E. Commonplace Survey:

https://a5036portofliverpoolaccess.commonplace.is/comments


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